FYI Miami: August 7, 2014
NEW RICKENBACKER BRIDGES: Miami-Dade County may have just wrapped up reconstruction of the Bear Cut and West bridges, but that job was just a temporary fix to the bridge system leading to the Village of Key Biscayne. The county plans to build brand new bridges to replace the Bear Cut and West bridges. Exactly where the new bridges would be located is yet to be determined. The recent reconstruction of the two bridges extended their lifespan for up to 30 years. In the meantime, a study is to be done that would, among other things, show the preferred design alternatives for replacement bridges. Overall, construction of new bridges would likely take up to a decade. Cost estimates and funding sources haven’t been identified.
RELIEF AT PUMP: Miami area gasoline prices dipped to $3.49 a gallon at the start of this week, exactly matching the US average per gallon,. The price was 3.2 cents per gallon lower in Miami than the prior week, 15.3 cents lower than a month earlier and 15.8 cents less than a year earlier, according to price-tracking web site GasBuddy.com. Prices were the lowest since 2010, according to the site.
CONSTRUCTION SOARS: Construction fever is building: contracts awarded for future nonresidential construction in South Florida in June were more than double those awarded in June 2013 and residential contract awards were nearly double, up 97%, according to McGraw Hill Construction. Total contacts awarded during the period were more than $723 million versus more than $360 million in 2014 in the tri-county area. For the year as a whole, however, total contracts for future construction are up just 10% at about $3.5 billion versus about $3.2 billion last year for the first half of the year. Statewide, the picture is different: total new contracts for June were up 15% to just under $3 billion. For the year as a whole, Florida future construction contracts in the first six months rose 8% to just under $18 billion. Construction jobs in the area grew by 9,800 persons employed in the past year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
RAPID JOB GROWTH: South Florida’s total nonfarm job growth of 3% in the year ended June 30 was among the fastest growth rates in the nation, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fastest growth in major metropolitan areas was 3.6% in the Dallas area, followed by 3.1% in Houston. San Francisco matched Miami’s 3% gain in third place in the nation, followed by 2.4% in the Atlanta area. The gain for the entire nation was 1.9%.